The ankle joint consists of three bones: the talus, fibula and tibia. The ankle joint is aligned by the articular cartilage. A patient with arthritis will experience severe or chronic pain when the cartilage is damaged. If the ankle joint is severely damaged, a doctor will recommend the process of arthrodesis. Arthritis of the ankle eventually leads to the loss and degeneration of the articular cartilage lining. You will experience persistent pain, stiffness and swelling of the ankle joint. Scientifically, an arthrodesis procedure is a surgical immobilization of the ankle joint by fusing the bones. The main purpose of ankle arthrodesis is to relieve chronic pain. In addition, this procedure restores your ankle’s ability to function. In the long run, you will make a full recovery, gaining considerable range of motion. The arthrodesis procedure is preferred over ankle replacement because of its durability. You need to determine your goals before deciding whether to have an ankle arthrodesis.
Who should have an ankle arthrodesis?
The right candidate for an ankle arthrodesis is someone with severe ankle arthritis. Similarly, if you are struggling with a previous injury, you may opt for an arthrodesis. Most often, a doctor will recommend arthrodesis if you have persistent ankle pain, even after being treated with home remedies and medications. When the ankle pain becomes more chronic, it’s a good idea to find a great arthrodesis surgeon. There are some things you need to consider when finding the right arthrodesis surgeon, such as experience, reputation, license, insurance coverage, and cost of service.
Alleviating ankle pain
This is the main reason why a doctor opts for an arthrodesis rather than an ankle replacement. Normally, your ankle suffers from chronic pain due to ankle arthritis. The procedure is performed if medications and home remedies are not effective. Pain management is essential because it improves your ability to work and your efficiency.
If you suffer from ankle arthritis, your production rate will be inadequate. Therefore, a successful arthrodesis procedure will help you perform your daily and usual activities efficiently. In addition, you will be able to walk from one destination to another without any problems.
Ability to bear weight
Lifting heavy weights increases the pressure on your joints, which leads to arthritis. If you have had arthrodesis, your joints will be firmer, allowing them to support heavy weights without pain.
Benefits of ankle arthrodesis Stability of the ankle joint
A successful arthrodesis restores your joint’s ability to function, especially over the long term. A stable joint will help you improve the efficiency of your daily activities. A severely damaged ankle joint causes stiffness, which impacts the way you walk.
Disadvantages of arthrodesis Wound healing problems
Surgery involves wounds that heal over time. Certain risk factors lead to wound healing problems, such as poor circulation, diabetes and smoking. Wound healing problems can lead to unexpected infections. You can reduce the risk of infection by a variety of ways, such as:
Keeping your dressing dry and clean
Complex regional pain syndrome
In some cases, the procedure may not relieve the pain. In other cases, the procedure may transfer the pain from the ankle to other vital parts of the body. CRPS can be defined as a nerve pain disease. The risk of developing CRPS can be reduced by taking more vitamin C.
If you have pre-existing disorders of vital organs, such as the kidneys, lungs or heart, you are likely to develop anesthetic complications. There are a variety of side effects of anesthetic complications, such as: